What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

senior citizen with caregiver

If your elderly loved one resides at a nursing home—or will soon—it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the most common signs of abuse. While it’s reasonable to assume every facility takes good care of their residents, many families have learned the hard way that that’s not always the case.

Read on to learn about the most common kinds of nursing home abuse and their warning signs, so you can take prompt action if an issue arises:

1. Physical Abuse

When staff members intentionally hurt the residents under their care, it constitutes physical abuse. Warning signs include unexplained injuries like burns, bruises, lacerations, and fractures. 

Unexpected hospitalizations could also be indicative of a problem. If your loved one was doing well for a while, for example, and then suddenly needed intensive care, physical abuse may be to blame.   

2. Emotional Abuse

Characterized by acts that cause psychological damage and ultimately harm the victim’s mental state, psychological abuse may not manifest any obvious signs for a while. Generally speaking, though, the victim’s well-being will get increasingly worse as the abuse goes on until they eventually exhibit anxiety, depression, violence, low self-confidence, PTSD, and/or substance abuse. 

3. Sexual Abuse 

Sexual abuse refers to any kind of unwanted sexual contact. In addition to affecting the victim mentally, this kind of abuse can cause physical damage. As such, the signs are similar to those of both physical and emotional abuse. Unexplainable STDs and welts around the genital area are also cause for concern. 

4. Financial Abuse 

Because senior citizens aren’t always able to manage their affairs, it’s not uncommon for people to take advantage of them financially. If your loved one adds a staff member to their last will or grants them power of attorney, it’s worth investigating. You should also scrutinize strange transactions and new accounts, including those for revolving credit. 

If another family member helps your loved one handle their finances, remind them of the potential for abuse. Make sure they know what to look for, so they can stop anyone with bad intentions from stealing your relative’s savings. 

5. Neglect

Neglect may not be outright abuse, but it can be just as damaging. When nursing home staff fail to give their residents adequate attention, serious injuries and even life-threatening complications can result. Signs of neglect include malnutrition, dehydration, sudden weight loss, bed sores, fractures from falling, and medication lasting for longer than it should. Without enough help, your loved one may also struggle with bathing and grooming, which will result in poor hygiene. 

Call 601-487-8448 for a Free Consultation with a Jackson Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer 

If you think your loved one is being abused or neglected by nursing home staff, turn to Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLCfor help. We’ll conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether your family has grounds for legal action, and if you do, we’ll help you gather the evidence needed to prove as much. Call 601-487-8448 or use our Contact Form to set up a free case review with a nursing home abuse attorney in Jackson. 

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